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Ritual Craft Post-Jam

Posted by (twitter: @squidblinkgames)
Sunday, December 20th, 2015 10:50 pm

Zach here (the code simian for our entry)
So this particular jam was probably the smoothest one for us to date. There was a small hiccup as I tried out the new JSON tools for Unity (which fails silently on unsuccessful deserialization), and eventually came to find out it couldn’t deserialize Dictionary objects (it can only deserialize objects already handled by Unity’s own serializer), but only an hour or two was lost. I was also learning something mostly new to me (the entire game used Unity’s new-ish UI system), but that also went over pretty well.

So what was the x-factor?

In all previous jams, we’d push ourselves to the limit, pull all-nighters, really try to squeeze as much productivity from ourselves as possible. I usually take the Monday off from work as well. This time around, we took a much more relaxed approach; we didn’t really even get started until around noon on Saturday. We didn’t stay up super late, ate regular meals, and attended social functions that came up.

As a result, whenever we were actively working on the project, we were fully charged and able to put in our best effort.

So I guess there really is something to be said about getting adequate rest. It’s probably fine to crunch as the deadline approaches, but to do it from the start is pretty much suicide for a project.

We ended up with a game with relatively clean code, few bugs, and actually managed to get in just about every feature we’d originally planned on. We didn’t really get to playtest a lot, but the compulsion loop was fairly sound. Ingredient gather is a bit boring and tedious, but overall, we’re both very proud of what we managed to accomplish.

The mechanics are pretty simple, and I personally approached the game as though it were a sub-portion of a larger game (a crafting system). That may have also contributed to the lack of stress.

So, be sure to check out our entry!



Why is he eating everything?!

Posted by (twitter: @squidblinkgames)
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 1:44 pm

Cepha’la’goth is wreaking havoc and wants to eat everything. The only way to stop him is to conjure up another Outsider and empower it to battle Cepha’la’goth. Do it, do it before he trashes and eats everything!





We’re in!

Posted by (twitter: @squidblinkgames)
Friday, August 21st, 2015 10:05 pm

We’re in! We’re still brain storming, but we do know we’re going to go in a different direction this round. In particular, we’re planning to include a social aspect to this game.

Stay tuned!


Posted by (twitter: @squidblinkgames)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 7:38 pm

An unconventional weapon… how about injecting yourself into things?

Inspired by a recent playthrough of Super Bonk, the mechanic where things could eat you and send you to another level was pretty amazing. We’re working along a similar angle 😉

Cindy’s been hard at work with tilesets and characters. Here’s a sneak peek!



Zach’s been fixing some stubborn physics bugs from his Spineless framework, and finally has them sorted out; now begins the rest of the game’s implementation.

We’re in!

Posted by (twitter: @squidblinkgames)
Friday, April 17th, 2015 6:53 pm

We took a break from the last one but we’re in for this one! This LD will be our third one to date – and we sure have learned a lot since then. There will just be the two of us this time (too many cooks in the kitchen last time) and our main goal is just to come up with something fun and playable. Hoping for the best! Good luck to everyone participating – we can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with!


  • Zach White – Development
  • Cindy Nguyen – Art


Past Submissions


Enter Team Squidtank!

Posted by (twitter: @squidblinkgames)
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 3:56 pm

Team Squidtank is in for the LD #30 game jam. We’re up to 8 members now!

Developers: Zachary White, Patrick Ryan, Dan Ruscoe, Michael S. Chang
Game/Level Design: Chris Berber
Art/Animation: Cindy Nguyen, Adam Smith, Sarah Banning

For a few of us, this will be our second Ludum Dare. During the course of the competition, we may gain or lose some members depending on circumstances and everyone’s availability.

We’ll be utilizing Unity2D for the game engine, so we can try to release to as many platforms as possible. I’ve since learned about the issues for the folks running Linux who can’t load web versions of the game, so we’ll try to target a release for that, as well 😉

Robotick Postmortem

Posted by (twitter: @squidblinkgames)
Monday, April 28th, 2014 9:30 pm

36 hours without sleep, but I feel it was worth it. Even if the final polish for the game had to be done on my lunch break today 😛 Those finishing touches were absolutely necessary, though.

I definitely learned a lesson about rapid prototyping during this jam. I have a tendency to obsess over having the “perfect” modular code. Everything has its place, everything must be clean, everything must be commented fully, highly decoupled, intuitive interfaces, etc.

Sometime around 2 am on Monday, I realized how little progress I’d made, and finally buckled down to just finish SOMETHING that was playable, coding conventions be damned. It turned into a giant knotted ball, object references scattered all willy-nilly, the bleating of sheep was deafening. Oh, the horror! The code was some of the worst I’ve ever done.

You know what? It was fun! I can definitely see the point of creating a prototype first as quickly as possible, ESPECIALLY for games; I got to get a feel for the game as I worked on it. “This isn’t as fun. This could be harder. Maybe that’s too hard.” Fail faster, as they say. Kind of like the “plug and chug” programming method, but with game design.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to implement a lot of our more lofty design ideas. There were supposed to be llamas. Random llamas, bursting out of the skin for no reason. And perhaps Grumpy Cat, because somehow that’d magically make us appeal to a larger demographic, right? Or something.

Dammit… no llamas, though. Not even a giant pink snake monster.

At least there was blood. And pus-filled ingrown hairs. And of course, random speech.

Next time I take a stab at a jam, I’ll make sure to put on my “fug’git” mantle earlier on in the game and just have fun with it rather than try to over-engineer every little thing. I got some good reusable components and code out of it, but that wasn’t really the point.

There was an obvious cost, though, to rushing it; bugs. So many bugs @_@ Not long after submission, I realized I’d used an older spritesheet for the hair wiggle/break, which I’m sure people can see, is the wrong size. I’m not sure if that falled under the “typo” category of bug or not. What do you guys think? Collision’s the same size, just a cosmetic fix. I think it probably qualifies. Curious to hear what other people think.

One thing I really wanted to get in was procedural, endless generation of the levels, but there simply wasn’t time. At the last minute, I just started throwing down hairs, blood, and pimples in ways I thought would be challenging to get to the gold.


I think it made the game a little more challenging than a random level would’ve, which is good, but I failed to realize another oversight; I wasn’t actually resetting the levels at game over. A very LARGE issue that makes the game unplayable after you’ve finally exhausted the blood pools. The level definitely needs a reset. Don’t know how I could’ve missed that.

But again, I don’t know if that qualifies as “unbeatable,” so I don’t want to mess with it until I get some feedback on whether others think it’s OK to fix. Deadline has come and passed. I probably should have thought of these things before.

Oh well. I’m tired and was pretty much useless at work today… but man, I had a blast! I can’t believe I’d never done one of these before!

Of course, shameless plug: If you’re still reading this, you should play the game! Vote! Be harsh, I can take it; the next game will be even better 😉
A big thanks to the rest of the team! You guys were amazing, I really appreciate it!

Oh, and a word of forewarning: The stuff the tick spouts when it talks can be pretty explicit and potentially offensive; this is because a large number of entries in our word bank came from Cards Against Humanity. That said, I think you’ll know what to expect >.> (Yes, we’ve read the license; as long as we’re not selling anything and give credit, we’re free to use the content. Obviously, if we decide to try and make money on a future iteration, we’ll use a completely custom word bank of original content)

Artwork/animation by Cindy Nguyen!
Music and the speech generation engine done by Patrick Ryan.
Additional game design and brainstorming, Chris Berber!
And  you have me to blame for the all the bugs.
I very much hope to work with these guys again for the next challenge!

Jam Entry Link:

More shtuff… getting close!

Posted by (twitter: @squidblinkgames)
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 5:42 pm

For a prototype, circumventing Unity’s horrible GUI system. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Just using sprites n’ text meshes.
Now, getting Pat’s speech generation integrated… then TTS.

Then actual game-ification, which I don’t actually expect to take too long.



Posted by (twitter: @squidblinkgames)
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 1:56 pm

I can see into forever @_@



Posted by (twitter: @squidblinkgames)
Sunday, April 27th, 2014 11:33 am



Break time

Posted by (twitter: @squidblinkgames)
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 3:55 pm


Sometimes, you’re so close to the code, and get obsessed with tweaking things to perfection, you forget you’re supposed to just be prototyping.

Starbound break.

D’en, I vill make deez tick sucka’ da’ blood.


Who Doesn’t Love Adorable Ticks?

Posted by (twitter: @squidblinkgames)
Friday, April 25th, 2014 10:56 pm

Our team has settled on an idea. We’re combining two versions of the “beneath the surface” theme: Beneath the surface of the skin, and beneath the surface of the mind.

You are a robotic tick with a rudimentary AI, which is based on a neural net made up of DNA molecules. To grow your neural net, you must suck up blood to collect more DNA.

The twist: Your tick is talking to you while you do this. We hope to implement a text-to-speech engine to go along with this, as the results could be hilarious.

At a low level of intelligence, your tick just wails out long lines of random vowels. Eventually, random syllables. Random words. Random sentences.

Besides just blood, you can also stumble upon pre-existing ideas and emotions, which affect the word bank you develop; basically, the difference between your AI saying “shit” instead of “poopy.”

Should be interesting. And hilarious.

Gameplay is top-down isometric as you look for sweet spots and avoid obstacles that can slow you down or kill you, like ingrown hairs and other parasites. Spending too long feeding in one area? Heeeeere comes the lighter…

I’m currently tackling gameplay, Patrick is covering the speech/syntax engine (he’s already got it generating some speech. The first phrase generated? “Uhhh, love kitten.”)

Cindy’s starting on artwork while Chris brainstorms more game mechanics.

Work has begun. Stay tuned! 😀

First Jam

Posted by (twitter: @squidblinkgames)
Friday, April 25th, 2014 4:56 pm

After managing to grow my team to 4 people, we’ll be entering together for our first LD game jam!

Code Monkey:
Myself (Zach W.)
Supporting Code Simian / Consultation: Patrick R.
Art: Cindy N.
Design / Brainstorming: Chris B.

Engine/Language: Unity / C#
Graphics: Adobe Photoshop / Illustrator
Sounds/Music: Not sure… Audacity + something else, I imagine.

We’ll up posting screenshots and progress as we go. Looking forward to getting to it!

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